Thanks to all-conference pitcher Caitlin Dudley’s 11 strikeout performance and ability to close out a tough game with a fastball that had the heat and accuracy of a laser, the Blaine fastpitch team finds itself headed to the state tournament for the first time in its history.
In a storybook game at Lynden’s Bender Fields last Friday, Blaine (12-10) handed the tough Archbishop Murphy squad just their third loss of the season and sent them home to Everett while Blaine now is at the state tournament at Selah High School near Yakima.
Pre-season favorite Murphy ended the district tournament with two close losses, one to eventual tournament winner Anacortes and the other to Blaine, and in both had girls on base but could not bring them home.
Blaine, designated as the visiting team, trailed early 2-0 but scored twice in the fourth on senior Molly Dudley’s towering double and RBI’s by Taylor Trueblood, whose other hit was a triple, and by Janelle Gobbato, a hit that was later ruled an error on Murphy’s shortstop.
With the score tied at two in the top of the fifth, Kristen Stanovich singled and was advanced by Amanda Moore. She scored on another Murphy error that put Caitlin Dudley on first to make it 3-2, and Trueblood’s triple then scored Dudley to make it 4-2. Blaine got an insurance run in the seventh and final frame when senior Amanda Moore scored on a Caitlin Dudley sacrifice fly.
Blaine ended the tournament with a meaningless 17-0 loss to Burlington as Dudley, with a record of 11-8 on the season, rested her arm for what will prove to be a good tournament for the Lady B’s. They’re peaking at just the right time.
Amanda Moore went two for three, scored and stole a base. Molly Dudley hit a double and scored, Stanovich was one for three and scored, and Trueblood ended up two for four with a triple and 2 RBI’s. Blaine had five runs on six hits, despite 13 strikeouts by Murphy’s ace pitcher Brittany Allen, and only one error.